New Costa Rica Driving Law Passed! (update to book)

by | Book Updates, Costa Rica

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My blogs try to counter the misinformation that I see spreading around Facebook groups about Costa Rica as well as the internet, in general.

This is one of the big reasons I wrote my book, Moving to Costa Rica Simplified (grab your copy here). 

So I knew this would happen… LOL. As soon as I hit publish and released the book, the new law about driving in Costa Rica was published in the national newspaper, La Gaceta – which means it became an official law.

For those who aren’t aware, prior to the new law, both tourists and people who had an application submitted and pending for residency could only drive if their “passport visa” (the number of days given on your passport stamp) was valid, up to 90 days

When the new law was passed to increase the number of days from 90 to 180 (which is a number that is not guaranteed), a different branch of the government didn’t also pass a law to allow people to drive up to the number of days that were given.

Now, about 9 months since that initial law was passed, the two branches of government are in sync.

At first, I thought the new law required people who were in the process of getting residency, with a submitted application, to “homologate” their license in order to continue driving. (Read about homologation in the Driving, Road Rules and Safety chapter)

But… (and let’s remember I am not a legal professional!), I did speak with a legal professional and it seems that now if your application is submitted and pending, you can indeed homologate your license and get a Costa Rica driving license, or you can continue driving with your home country license, as long as it is valid. You no longer need to do a border run and leave the country. YAY! This is a big win for people with pending applications!

For perpetual tourists, you will still need to do a border run, according to the date given on your passport, up to 180.

If you want to notate this update in the book, you will find this information discussed in the Residency chapter. If you purchased the book after May 10, 2024, you should have an updated copy already.


Hey there, I'm Chrissy

This is my little corner of the internet where I share all things about moving to and living in Costa Rica.